Good morning, All,
We hear a lot about Investor Exhaustion, Investor Fatigue, and let’s face it: in NYC, there’s at least one pitch event a week. How often do you hear about something that’s truly original? Or something that’s more a feature than a company? As to Startup Exhaustion, we all hear about the upside of starting your own company, but the fact that most businesses fail, even when the entrepreneurs did have a great idea and worked hard. Remember: according to New York Angels Chairman Brian Cohen, angels invest in only one out of 40 companies; VCs in one out of 400.
Still, we would never discourage a potential entrepreneur. Although, we do want to throw something out there that we haven’t seen mentioned discussed anywhere and that’s the idea of Startup Consolidation. How many times have you met someone with a company similar to yours – okay, there are a few key differentiators – who is also struggling for traction? Ever thought of working together? Just a suggestion, which occurred to us, after having met with a very successful entrepreneur/investor recently, and pitched one of our startups (bonniefoods). He liked the product, he is interested in pursuing it, and when he asked how we planned on building it out, we answered honestly: we don’t want to run the business, but rather, license the recipes/partner with a company/or come on board as the food scientist/subject matter expert (in this case, type 2 diabetes). We don’t know the food business – but we do know a hell of a lot more about food for Type 2 diabetes than even most nutritionists and dietitians. Nothing wrong with symbiosis.
We are in an entrepreneurship bubble, and some of us may be missing the forest through the trees. Notice how more and more we see companies/corporations mounting hackathons? Or entrepreneurship contests? (FYI: always read the fine prints. We nearly entered one, until we saw that all submissions would become property of the sponsor, read: ‘we’re looking for new ideas. Someone will make some money. Our thanks to the rest of you for all of the great ideas, which are now our property and should we decide to execute on them, as for remuneration to you: you’re just sh#t out of luck. Maybe next year, so keep doing what you’re doing and we’ll do the same!’). They’re looking for new ideas/verticals. They need you, otherwise, they’d find better things to do with their time than host a hackathon and/or read through thousands of contest submissions. Who knows better than a consumer where the pain points are? So, approach them directly. Consult your lawyer first: make sure you’re protected and never give away too much until papers are signed/money is in escrow.
And get some rest. Onward and forward.
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New England Venture Summit, The 8th annual New England Venture Summit, presented by youngStartup Ventures, is the premier industry gathering connecting venture capitalists, corporate VCs, angel investors, technology transfer professionals, senior executives of early stage and emerging growth companies, university researchers, incubators and premier service providers. Whether you are an investor seeking access to new early stage deals, or a CEO or Founder of a new venture looking for funding, visibility and growth, the New England Venture Summit is one event you won’t want to miss. Use code sos to save an addtitional 10% on the Early Bird rate.
Queens Economic Development Corporation intensive 10 week business plan course for entrepreneurs. Program starts October 1st, so apply now.
Shopify/HuffPo Build a Business Competition, deadline March 31st – to build a business, so enter now! $50k cash prize (but read the fine print – it’s more like $500k), mentoring, and more. Get building!
SlideShare Contest: What’s Your Startup Story? Deadline September 30th. Ok, so you win a SlideShare Pro account, but judges include Dave McClure and Guy Kawasaki – not a bad thing to be on their radar.
StartupChile, deadline October 1st. It’s a good one. Cash, which goes a lot farther in Chile; mentors; a demo day. Go for it!
Clinical Trial Visualization Redesign, deadline October 2nd. Eli Lilly, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, invites designers and developers to re-imagine clinical trial information in a patient-centric way. As part of Lilly’s Clinical Open Innovation initiative, which calls on open innovation to help transform clinical research and development, challenge participants are now being asked to focus on the ideas and possibilities for envisioning clinical trial protocols from a patient’s point of view. Clinical trial information can often be dense and difficult to digest from a patient’s perspective. Patients may have questions surrounding the risks and benefits of their participation in the trial, logistics, the role of their personal doctor, and much more. The goal for this challenge is to redesign that information in a way that highlights key aspects in a visually appealing and user-friendly way. $75,000 in prizes in all. Grand Prize: $35k.
R/GA (and TechStars) Connected Devices Accelerator, deadline October 11th. Three months, ten companies, up to $120 in funding. This one is focused on any technology-powered startup from around the world with an innovative idea for a product or service in the connected devices space. Your product can be hardware or software, but it should help bring together the physical with digital. Go for it!
The New York Expo and Conference is back – the real one! Free Early Bird registration now available.
The largest business show on the East Coast is now open for FREE early bird registration. 40+ Seminars. 250+ Exhibitors. Unlimited networking. And yes, that is Brian Solis on the home page. He’ll be keynoting and that’s always worth the price of admission. Register here.
Date: October 17th
Venue: Javits Center, NYC
Daily News Innovation Lab, deadline October 31st (applications being accepted starting October 1st). The Daily News Innovation Lab is powerfully positioned to help grow and launch early-stage companies targeting a known digital-media need by offering unique access to the Daily News in-house team, robust technical infrastructure (hosting, servers, storage) and a massive national audience. Through the Innovation Lab’s Program Service Partners, participating companies will have access to external professional services and receive post-graduation office space. A slate of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, angel investors and professionals will offer advice, mentorship and support to the companies. The goal is for graduates to leave with a viable product that has been proven in the market, well positioned to launch a successful business
NEW DreamIt Health Baltimore, deadline November 11th. DreamIt Health Baltimore 2014 will select up to ten companies from around the world to participate in a four-month accelerator program. In addition to receiving up to a $50,000 stipend and professional services, the startups will be paired with and work closely with exited entrepreneurs-turned-mentors with domain expertise specific to their needs; benefit from an intense startup and healthcare curriculum taught by accomplished practitioners; meet with subject matter experts and investors; and enjoy access to executives, information systems, and data from leading industry players including providers, payers, biopharma, device makers, and federal agencies. Participating teams will also benefit from DreamIt’s extensive network and expertise in guiding the growth of young technology companies.
DreamIt Health Baltimore is expected to take advantage of many of the strengths of the region, giving participating startups the opportunity to work closely with Johns Hopkins Medicine for potential pilots and also access to key individuals throughout the region’s wealth of federal health care institutions including the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Food and Drug Administration, the National Institutes of Health and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
The program will be led by Elliot Menschik, MD PhD, a Johns Hopkins alum and successfully-exited health IT entrepreneur. Apply individually, or as a company.
ER Accelerator Winter Session, deadline November 15th. $40k in funding and working with amazing mentors – including yours truly. Don’t wait till the last minute!
For you edification this week:
Speaking of today’s lead-in, sometimes you do wonder, When Is It Time To Bail?
This week, Paul Graham answers the question, How Do You Raise Money?
15 New York-Based Angel Groups For Your Startup To Consider. Nice to have them all in one place.
What no one talks about when building a team: letting people go. Says the author, “There is very little written on the subject of firing people, and it’s a hard thing to talk about, especially when you are still small. However, one of our highest cultural values is transparency, and for some time I have felt we were not being true to our values by not talking about this.”
Your Smartphone is Becoming the Remote Control for the Physical World. And if you’re trying to come up with an idea for a company/product, think about this and heads up: With Kevo You Can Unlock Your Front Door With An iPhone. It’s getting to be more and more about the Internet of Things.
Since it was released this past week: The best hidden features in iOS 7.
iOS 7 Bug Lets Anyone Bypass iPhone’s Lockscreen To Hijack Photos, Email, Or Twitter. Not so sure that this is one of the new OS’s better features, but the article does include some fixes.
Google knows nearly every Wi-Fi password in the world. If an Android device (phone or tablet) has ever logged on to a particular Wi-Fi network, then Google probably knows the Wi-Fi password. Considering how many Android devices there are, it is likely that Google can access most Wi-Fi passwords worldwide.
Speaking of which: An illustrated guide to avoiding the NSA online.
For your amusement this week, from John Stewart, Wrongnado: CNN online.
Elevator Pitch/Member News
Hint, hint: Feel free to tell us what you’re working on, or if you’ve been featured in the press…Share, and we will, too!
|One of our members is doing a Freestyle Fashion Conference on September 28th and offering members a discount. Code: sos.
Congrats this week go to Cynthia Schames of AbbeyPost, which launch the beta of their Find Your Fit tech this past weekend. Says Cynthia, “We use the customer’s existing computer webcam (or soon: her smartphone) in a quick 30-second process that’s accurate to within 1/4 of an inch. We currently collect 115 measurements but she only sees and confirms her height, bust, waist and hip measurements. We then use her measurement data to surface product recommendations from the 100+ various brands, boutiques and designers within our entire marketplace.” FYI, AbbeyPost is an ecommerce marketplace and data platform exclusively focused on the Plus Size consumer. It’s common knowledge that sizing uncertainty and returns are a huge challenge for both shoppers and retailers, and this is even more true with the Plus Size consumer. The Plus Size market in the US alone is approximately $18B, and growing–no pun intended!
That’s it from us this week. Our September Happy Hour is postponed until next month and apologies! AlleyWatch is one of the companies being honored at Gracie Mansion that evening and guess I should show up. Oh, Yours Truly was also nominated by Always On as being one of the tech industry’s top reporters. Will keep you posted. And now, as always, help is on the way.